Criminal gene. How maniacs are found in Russia by DNA

The first forensic DNA research in our country began in 1988 the year when the USSR State Committee for Science and Technology decided to organize genotyposcopy laboratories in the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Since then, this method has helped solve tens of thousands of criminal cases, many of which seemed completely hopeless. In recent years, this work has become more and more effective due to the replenishment of the federal database of genomic information.

From a drop of saliva, sweat or a single hair from a crime scene, they learned to get data even about the appearance of a suspect. tells the stories of the most infamous villains who were caught thanks to these technologies.

Maniac's smile

One of the most famous and bloody criminals caught in Russia in recent decades, became the “Angara maniac” Mikhail Popkov. In terms of the number of victims, he far surpassed even Andrey Chikotilowho took the lives of 53 people. The killer from Siberia has 80 proven murders, most of which he himself confessed to after receiving a life sentence in 2015. For such convicts, participation in investigative actions on new episodes of crimes outside the walls of a special regime colony — it's like going on vacation. And to such a life in which he is happy to be "free" even in handcuffs with a chain, DNA chains were brought.

In the 90s, Mikhail Popkov served in the Angarsk police, where he received the nickname “Misha-smile”. The junior sergeant was always very friendly, did a good job as an operational duty officer and was considered an exemplary family man. No one noticed how a bloodthirsty beast arose under the mask of a good-natured man, awakened by a heartfelt insult. She was caused by the betrayal of her wife, whom Popkov once accidentally found out about. He loved his daughter very much and decided to save the family, but began to take revenge on other women whom he considered vicious. After work, he often taxied, picking up pretty strangers at bus stops or at hot spots. The man used his charms, offered to drink together in solitude, and many agreed that it cost them their lives.

Mikhail Popkov. Frame of TV channel Russia 1

Popkov claimed that his victims voluntarily entered into sexual intercourse with him and only then they themselves brought him to sin. Allegedly, in the course of quarrels from the enmity that arose, he killed them and hiding the remains in the forests. But more eloquently than any of his words, which cannot be verified, spoke the remains of the unfortunate. Many were found with terrible injuries from axes, knives, screwdrivers and other items. In one of the victims, the monster even cut out the heart. Nevertheless, similar murders of women in the vicinity of Angarsk were investigated separately for a very long time. Everything changed only in 1998 the year when rumors about a sex maniac spread in the city. The case was taken over by the investigative-operational group, which then got dozens of victims of the criminal.

But the search for the killer dragged on for many years. In the end, two factors played a key role. One of them was the conclusion that a person in uniform was involved in the crimes. This was indicated by many things, including the testimony of the miraculously surviving victim of Popkov about the attack of a policeman who was not her. Based on this, in the 2000s, thousands of people, including former and current employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, took DNA tests to compare them with the genome of the criminal. The cautious villain left no evidence other than his biomaterial. And it was possible to bring everything together in 2012 year, when the Investigative Committee resumed the investigation of the criminal case, which had already been closed and was considered hopeless.

By that time, Popkov had not worked at the Ministry of Internal Affairs for a long time and drove a foreign car from Vladivostok to for sale. During such a flight, he was detained. The man did not resist and immediately confessed to more than two dozen murders. From his words, he stopped doing them in the late 2000s due to impotence resulting from venereal disease. The forensic examination recognized Popkov as sane, but at the same time revealed a mental deviation in him — homicide mania. This is a strong desire to kill people, which the maniac himself explained by the desire to rid the world of fallen women. During an interview behind bars, he lamented that he didn't foresee just one thing. Like, he couldn't have imagined such a development of technology in which he would be found by the traces of DNA left many years ago.

Frame NTV channel

Whispering rapist

At some point, Mikhail Popkov was being tested for involvement in the rape of women in a city located three hundred kilometers from Angarsk, which by siberian standards — trifle. But it turned out that a local serial criminal was operating there, no less cautious and dangerous. Moreover, it was calculated using the methods of DNA examination by members of the same investigative-operational group that caught the Angarsk maniac. At the end of his case, they immediately began to unravel the tangle of dozens of sexual crimes that occurred in Tulun. Again, at the beginning of the dashing 90s, attacks began there, between which for a very long time they could not or did not want to see an obvious connection.

The Tulun rapist committed attacks at night time right on the streets of the mining town. He approached the women quickly from behind and puts a knife to the throat so that they wouldn call for help. Then he takes         to an uninhabited place like an abandoned building and does his job. The offender did not seek to kill, but threatened all the victims with reprisal if they contacted the police. If a woman had a passport with her, the attacker recognized the address, some he pricked or cut with a knife to intimidate. After that, not everyone dared to report the crime, and those who did could tell little. The rapist did not show his face, for the complexity of identification by his voice he spoke in a whisper, had the usual dense physique. But there were also clues: many reported about dirty work clothes and persistent smell of diesel fuel.

Tulun rapist Pavel Shuvalov. Frame of TV channel Russia 1

Detectives followed the fuel trail in the 2000s, which saw the peak of rapes. They interrogated everyone who dealt with transport and solar oil — taxi drivers, tractor drivers, truck drivers, depot workers. Then the search came to a dead end, but in 2018, the matter was thoroughly taken up. The  investigative-operational group had a strong trump card in hands from the site of one of the rapes, where biological traces of the maniac with his DNA were left on the earth. They helped test thousands of men for rape, from whom samples of the epithelium of the oral cavity were taken. As a result, the coincidence of the genetic profile played a decisive role after the offender was identified by orientation. It turned out to be a resident of Tulun Pavel Shuvalov, who worked for many years as a bulldozer operator at a coal mine.

In order not to frighten off the rapist who could hide, we went to a trick. At the beginning of 2019, a district police officer came to his house and asked him to testify about a recent fight. At the police station, Shuvalov said that he knew nothing about her and signed the protocol, leaving biological traces on the pen. After their investigation, he was detained. Investigators had evidence that almost thirty residents of the city, including minors, became victims of the criminal. Shuvalov killed two women for violent resistance. But only a part of the crimes was investigated at the court, since in 2019 many materials were destroyed by the infamous Tulun flood, and the statute of limitations expired in some episodes. As a result, last fall, 53-year-old Shuvalov was sentenced to 24 years in a strict regime colony.

Shuvalov himself pleaded guilty in part. He tried to prove that he killed the two women not on purpose, but accidentally. Psychiatrists helped to understand the motives for his violent actions. The offender was diagnosed with raptophilia — a mental disorder in which arousal occurs with pleas for mercy. It also turned out that he made his attacks spontaneously after drinking alcohol. The rapist could suddenly leave his drinking companions and go looking for a suitable victim on the neighboring streets. At the same time, the man was even acquainted with some of the victims or their relatives, because Tulun — small city. Like Mikhail Popkov, this criminal did not arouse any suspicions in relatives and relatives. He lived with his wife, who taught Russian at school, and raised two children.

Adsky Fizruk

DNA technologies in forensics work not only on the principle of a fingerprint, when to prove guilt you just need to compare the genetic profile of a particular suspect and the material from the crime scene. They also allow you to determine the various features of the appearance of a person who left his biological mark. Thanks to this, it was possible to catch a pedophile who for many years attacked girls with impunity in Novosibirsk. He imperceptibly pursued younger schoolgirls to their home and followed went into the porch, where he introduced himself as a housing office employee. The man said that he needed to check the meter or feel the battery. Minors opened the doors, and if their parents weren't in the apartment, then the unknown person calmly committed violent acts.

Photo: Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for the Novosibirsk Region

The first of these attacks took place in the 2000s. Then the search didn't lead to anything, and the pedophile himself stopped his attacks for several years. But when           it became known about a series of new crimes of the  communal worker, he was taken seriously. Ambushes were set up near schools and sketches were made, only each time the faces on them turned out to be different. The children could not really describe the offender, although many pointed out one important common feature: the offender had a non-Slavic appearance. . According to DNA, they learned to determine the ethnic and territorial origin of a person, which works especially accurately with small nationalities.

The database of the research institute made it possible to establish that a pedophile from Novosibirsk — Buryat roots. Scientists even indicated a specific region of Buryatia, where the male ancestors of the offender lived. At the same time, it was determined that according to his mother, he is most likely Russian. This mixing of blood explained why the children could not understand the nationality of a man. There were suggestions that he might be Asian, Caucasian, Gypsy. Understanding that you need to look for a mestizo, significantly narrowed the circle of the search. Starting with working off hundreds of people, they systematically came to & nbsp; several dozen suspects. The work used information about the physique of a pedophile, recordings from video cameras and data about cell phone numbers glowing near crime scenes. All these threads led the detectives to a native of the Barguzinsky district of the Republic of Buryatia, who was named by Tomsk scientists.

Novosibirsk pedophile Ruslan Ochirov. Photo: Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation for the Novosibirsk Region

Ruslan Ochirov was engaged in martial arts, so they decided to detain him carefully in order to avoid resistance. The man was stopped in the car by the traffic police under the pretext of checking documents, and he didn’t even have time to come to his senses when the handcuffs snapped on him. Although Ochirov refused to admit his guilt in the attacks on schoolgirls, this did not help him in any way. DNA examination confirmed that it was his biological traces that were found at the crime scenes. For 14 attacks, the court sentenced the pedophile to 18 years in prison. Many parents in the region learned with horror that at one time Ruslan Ochirov worked as a physical education teacher at a school where he could look out for the first victims. But due to a small salary, he quit his job and went to work in a taxi. By the way, this criminal was also a family man and raised two children.

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